Album Review: Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe

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I’m one of those rare people who stay up late for no apparent reason, watch late night television, and clean the house when insomnia kicks in. If it weren’t for that horrible habit of being a night owl, I probably wouldn’t have discovered Chvrches. It seems as though no matter what I do, I tend to be really late in finding good new music. It’s a tragedy, really. I gradually hope that crappy radio stations will bring new music my way and it usually doesn’t work like that. I have to search and hope what I find makes me happy. But luckily, this past November it came to me. It was my usual routine: a rerun Jimmy Kimmel Live during meal prep for the following day. Chvrches performed that night and ever since, I’ve been hooked. I have a slight fascination with the Scottish band that I never saw coming (Thank you Jimmy Kimmel)The thing about it was that in my crazy night time routine, Chvrches managed to get me to sit down, and appreciate their live performance, even if it meant burning my chicken. It’s like they knew they could beguile me through the power of television. Lauren, Iain, and Martin, had this hidden agenda to be completely awesome and get noticed. The next day, I had their album in my car, iPhone, computer; I was enchanted.

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The Bones Of What You Believe Cover

Chvrches was formed in 2011 and with all three band members having been in other bands previously, it clearly shows that these three aren’t newcomers to the music scene. Lauren Mayberry, lead vocalist, was formally part of two other bands: Boyfriend/Girlfriend, and Blue Sky Archives. Everything happens for a reason, I’ve been told. It seemed that way for Lauren and Iain. If Iain Cook hadn’t recorded Blue Sky Archive’s EP, he probably wouldn’t have invited Lauren to record demos with him and Martin Doherty, who have been long time friends. And if they hadn’t created Chvrches, we would all be thirsty for the kind of innovative freshness they bring to the music world. Iain Cook has a special kind of power when it comes to the construction of music. Although his preceding bands, Aerogramme and The Unwinding Hours, didn’t reach the astronomical levels that have been achieved by Chvrches, the influence he had was evident. Iain and Martin Doherty can manipulate their sounds with such exactitude it makes you crave more. The Twilight Sad, the band that Martin played keyboard and guitar with previously, shows his range as a musician since the style was more rock versus the synthpop Chvrches offers.  There are no cheesy synthesizer mixes in this. It has taste. The synthesizer can be a hit or miss with certain bands or artists that either completely slaughter a track with overly trippy vibes, or they incorporate other sounds that reverberate passionately, which I feel is precisely what Chvrches does in so many of their tracks on The Bones of What you Believe.

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Gun, The Bones Of What you Believe

The Bones of what you Believe, the bands first official album released in September of 2013, has made their footprint in the industry by hitting impressive marks: Peaked the Billboard 200 at the twelfth spot, the third spot for Top Modern Rock/ Alternative Albums and landing the top spot for Top independent Album. We’ve now heard their music on commercials and video games and even the track Gun on Episode 11 of the tenth season of Grey’s Anatomy.  Needless to say, they are here to stay.

Lies was the debut single, followed by Recover, tracks that are so powerful just based on the lyrics. If a song has a good beat, but doesn’t Say anything, then it clearly doesn’t offer anything but a head nod or some dancing finger tips, possibly even a foot tap depending on your style. Songs with character stay with you. You can see their live performances on YouTube which is what I’ve done and receive how they sound in the album and directly know that these three are ultimately professionals, congregated for greatness. They infiltrate your mind and cause you to analyze the symbols and try to come up with your own interpretation of what it might mean to those on the other side of the speaker. That’s how Tether is for me, track number four in The Bones of What you Believe. It is a track I believe I will relate to for a long time. Chvrches found a way to incorporate my situation from across the Atlantic. Lauren is such a pleasure to hear, it seems in my opinion she was a bit diminished before she joined Chvrches, it seems as she didn’t sparkle the way she does now. She lacked the creative partnership that would allow her to shine as a professional vocalist. Besides music, Lauren has a master’s degree in Journalism. The fact that she is educated, writes, and sings live in an impressing manner gives me hope. She isn’t just another pretty face; she is the type of role model girls need in a world full of twerk-filled dimwits that somehow get record deals with no talent or aspirations.

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Iain, Lauren, And Martin of Chvrches

They’ve got a great sound and energy. Three concerts scheduled in NYC for later this Spring, all sold out already. Synthpop, electric, Alternative-Indie; whatever category you’d like to place Chvrches in, they’re definitely a band to watch out for. With their knowledgeable backgrounds and control over their sound and imagine, here is a band that personifies talent and just genuinely gives off good vibes, I’m ready for more.

 

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